Russian poet, representative of the avant-garde art of the second and third decades of the 20th century. He was born into the family of a forester in the Caucasus; after the death of his father in 1906 he moved to Moscow. He studied at the 5th Moscow gymnasium, then in the preparatory class of the Stroganovsky college, in the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, from which he was expelled in 1914 for his part in the scandalous exhibitions of the Futurists.
He joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1908, and spread propaganda among the workers of Moscow, for which he was arrested. In the second decade of the 20th century he was a member of "Gilea", "Jack of Diamonds" and "Union of Youth" - well-known groups of avant-garde artists. From 1912 he began to publish his own Futurist poems in magazines. Among his works are the poems "A Cloud in Trousers", "The Backbone Flute", and "War and Peace".
Following the Revolution he took an active part in the publication of the "Okna ROSTa" (Russian Telegraph Agency Windows) propaganda posters, which proclaimed the new values of Soviet life, and wrote for left-wing journals. He became widely known both in the USSR and abroad for his poems "150,000,000", "Vladimir Ilyich Lenin", and "Good!"
Mayakovsky was active in various Soviet public organisations. In 1926 he became a member of the board of MosOZET. Together with V. B. Shklovsky he wrote the screenplay of the film "Jews on the land", and took part in the making of the film in the Crimea.
He committed suicide in 1930.